Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss and co. No stepping on toes intended.
Notes: This part has switched to Faith's perspective, the title is from a Sunday's b-side and, as for the timeline: it's post Angel season one and although the gang now have the hotel, that's as far as the similarities go. Well, mostly...
Beta: Thanks to Dolores for beta reading and Roz for listening to ideas.
Girls like Faith didn't deserve girls like Cordelia Chase. That much was obvious now. Enough shit had gone down to convince her of that... it was like the same movie kept playing before her eyes. How many times did she need to see it before it got old? The same tugging and pushing and pulling and hating and loving and... Still the emptiness that filled her. Why did she always fuck up? Why was she such a huge, monumental fuck-up?
It all kept coming back to the same question. What if she hadn't stopped herself from hitting Cordelia? How far would she have gone? And the thing was, she didn't know if Angel was right. She didn't know if she could be redeemed or even if she could keep her shit together from one minute to the next. All she had was this uncertainty. That's what was ripping her apart, that and the look on C's face. She'd never wanted to see that expression again. All she could do was run and keep on running.
So here she was in a bar, big surprise, finishing the last dregs of a beer. Fourth of fifth, she'd lost count. The smoky atmosphere was stinging her eyes, absolutely nothing to do with how crappy and stupid and damn sick she felt about screwing things up. Nothing to do with that phone call back at Cordelia's. Uh-uh, no way.
There was stuff that she couldn't deal with, stuff she didn't ever want to think about. That call had brought up things that she thought were long dead and buried. Things that were in a dark hole in the back of her mind where she shoved everything that hurt. Everything pre Sunnydale. Everything about Boston and her sucky childhood.
She shook her head, trying to dispel those thoughts and motioned to the barman for another beer. Good old Bud would help her to forget, at least until the morning. But something pricked her senses and she picked her head up, glancing towards the other end of the bar. Some blonde woman sitting there, watching her, trying to catch her eye, smiling before deliberately looking away.
Maybe it was the beer talking, screwing up her vision, but that chick looked so much like B. Okay, so she had blonde hair - that was pretty much enough to set off any thoughts of everyone's favourite can-do-no-wrong Slayer. Mostly, Faith pushed observations like that to that black hole in her mind but tonight she was so low that she couldn't fight them. Hell, maybe she didn't want to anymore. C was right, she was still obsessed with Buffy. What is it with that, anyway?
All she knew was that last year she'd sort of fallen for Buffy Summers, or the ideal of her at least. Although she had Cordelia, she wanted Buffy. It's like, she'd always been a sucker for wanting what she couldn't have or what wasn't good for her. From craving sweets when she was a kid to doing Xander Harris. 'Course there was no way in hell that Buffy would've returned her feelings, not when she and Mr Broody hot vamp guy were attached at the lip. The last great doomed love affair. How could she ever compete with that? How could someone like B, the Nancy Drew Slayer, all blonde hair and pastel colours and stuffed animals in her bedroom, how could someone like that ever feel anything more than contempt for her? Faith wasn't exactly take-home-to-Mom prom date material.
Pretty soon those sickening fluffy feelings turned sour. A whole sequence of events, maybe they could've been avoided, maybe not, led her to the Mayor's doorstep. She was sick of being the redundant, unwanted Slayer. Sunnydale was supposed to be her town, a new start, away from the ghouls of her past. It wasn't really about choosing evil over good or morality or any of that shit. It was a job; she was able to put her skills to good use. If killing and maiming could be considered skills. Hmm, wonder what a careers advisor would say about that... She just got so caught up in it all, she was addicted to the rush and would do anything to keep it alive. But she'd underestimated B and that was her downfall. Yeah, right off the roof and into a coma. Later, the recriminations were passed back and forth. They were both to blame, they'd both made mistakes, but Buffy was still intent on punishing Faith for hers. Well, Faith just didn't have the energy anymore; in fact, she'd been running on empty for a long time.
It was over now, as far as Buffy Summers was concerned. Still... it didn't stop Faith holding onto that lingering regret that resurfaced every time she saw someone that remotely resembled the blonde. It wasn't about Cordelia but, then, she knew C wouldn't see it that way. So that's why she never said anything. Man, she'd fucked up so majorly this time that it probably didn't matter now. She'd be lucky if she ever saw the brunette again. Running out on her didn't seem such a smart move anymore. She wanted Cordelia, right? Wanted to be part of her life, have every breath be for her. So how come B and her parade of sun-kissed Californian lookalikes still had the power to fuck with her head?
'Cept this chick at the bar looked nothing like B at all. Shorter hair, dark eyes (from what she could tell from here) and sleeker features. Wicked pale too. She looked like she was barely out of high school but the way she was staring at Faith, that was all grown up. And she was wearing this killer strapless red dress that showed off all of her assets real nice. Pretty smile too. Sliding off her stool, Faith edged up the bar, beer in hand, all the while keeping her eyes on the other woman. Blondie had this innocent look about her and Faith had the irrepressible urge to take that away from her. Because tonight she just wanted the feel of another body, no names, no attachments, no difficult emotions, no thoughts of Cordelia or what she was wrecking by just thinking and looking. Just a little heat to illuminate the darkness.
Blondie was perched on her bar stool like it was a throne or something. She smiled sweetly as Faith sidled up to her but underneath that smile there was the knowledge of what was happening here. Chicks like her used their veneer of innocence to lure in the clueless. But Faith knew that kind of woman; she knew the rules of the game and she had a few tricks of her own. So she made a point of invading Blondie's personal space, getting right in her face and speaking directly into her ear.
"Should you be out on a school night?"
Faith pulled back to take a slug on her beer and the woman smirked at her. "Should you?" Her voice was light, almost musical. Perversely, Faith wondered if she was a screamer or moaner. Either way, she was looking forward to finding out 'cause there was something about her, something she couldn't quite put her finger on. It was like, when she looked into Blondie's eyes she felt like she could just float away and wouldn't give a damn. Which was far too fucking poetic for a simple screw.
Shaking away the fog that was settling over her brain, Faith cocked her eyebrow. "Can I get you a drink?"
Blondie glanced over her shoulder at one of the booths that lined the wall. There was a guy slumped in the corner, looked like he'd passed out drunk, dead to the world. Faith wondered if he was with the blonde and wondered why she even cared. Blondie turned back to her a gave a tiny smile. "No, I've had enough."
"Five by five," Faith shrugged, and was about to walk away when the woman's small but deceptively strong hand curled around her wrist. The touch was like tiny prickles of electricity on her skin and Faith stared at her questioningly.
"I want to dance," Blondie said and gazed up at Faith through her eyelashes. Some slow bluesy song was playing, nothing she recognised and not her kind of thing at all. No driving beat to grind to. But that didn't matter, just the thought of holding this woman against her was firing her up. That and the thought of doing it in front of all these lame-ass, washed up, middle aged lawyers and accountants. Give them something to think about when they got their once monthly screw from their wives.
With a smirk, Faith snatched the blonde's hand and sliced her way through the smoke and haze to the empty dance floor. As soon as they were facing each other, Blondie had her arms wrapped around Faith's neck, pressing the whole length of her scarlet-clad body against her. There wasn't an inch between them as they swayed to the sweet melody, moving from the hips and shoulders. Faith could feel the blonde's fingers threading through her hair before coming to play with the downy hair on the back of her neck, softly stroking the hard ridge at the top of her spine. And, shit, there was that electricity again and the coolness of Blondie's fingertips and mischief in her eyes and their lips edging together.
Faith held back. "What about your friend?" Not that she gave a flying fuck; she was just pushing, playing the game.
A tiny growl left Blondie's lips. "He isn't a friend and he's a drag. Not like you." Seemed she wasn't interested in stretching out the anticipation because the woman took Faith by the head and kissed her, not wasting any time in slipping her the tongue. Not that Faith was complaining. And she knew, just knew, that they'd be fuelling the jerk-off fantasies of most of the guys in this joint for the next year. Well, take a good look losers.
Faith moaned slightly into the kiss as Blondie's fingers slipped into the back pockets of her jeans, groping her ass as slim hips ground against her. God, if she didn't get a fuck out of this then she was gonna explode. Her own hand found a breast, bringing a nipple taut through the red dress and a delighted gasp from Blondie. With the kiss broken, Faith took the opportunity to kiss the other woman's neck, sucking and licking at the pale throat offered up to her. She wanted to immerse herself in this, just to lose herself completely, just for one night because in random encounters she could be anyone she chose.
"Let's go somewhere," Blondie whispered into her ear, sending all kinds of shivers up and down her spine. For emphasis she traced the coral edge of Faith's ear with a playful tongue. "I have a room."
Faith just grunted in agreement and dragged the blonde back up to the bar to snag her leather jacket before making their way out into the balmy night. Blondie slipped her hand into Faith's, entwining their fingers. It made the brunette uncomfortable but she said nothing, looking around for a cab instead. Minutes later they were safely in the back of a yellow taxi, tearing down the street, an expanse of seat between them. There was only silence, the building anticipation, and the way that Blondie was looking at her with her old eyes. She just wanted to reach over and grab her and do her right here. Smirking to herself, Faith turned to stare out the window watching the yellow lights of LA dancing past her vision in a blur. She loved the noise and the rush of people and the lights.
The taxi ride passed so quickly that she was surprised when the cab pulled up outside a plush hotel. Man, this chick must be loaded, she thought. Blondie pulled a couple of bills out of her purse to pay the driver and they got out. The doorman nodded a 'good evening' to Blondie and tossed a look of distaste in Faith's direction. So she gave him the bird along with her sweetest smile. A short elevator ride later, during which the bellhop checked out her ass, they were in the penthouse suite. And this was beginning to have too many overtones of Pretty Woman for Faith's liking.
Awkwardly Faith glanced around, checking out the pad. It was nice, if you like cream everything. Italian leather couches, chandeliers, a huge fuck-off fireplace, that kinda shit. She watched Blondie walk over to coffee table and put her purse down before sinking onto the leather couch. With a smile, she patted the space beside her. Squaring her shoulders, Faith swaggered over and joined her.
"Would you like another drink?" Blondie asked.
"Strangely, no," Faith replied, all sobered up by being surrounded by all this gratuitous wealth. "So, you got some kinda trust fund or something?"
Blondie laughed softly, girlishly. "Something like that. My lawyers take care of my finances." She reached over to stroke Faith's cheek. "But let's not talk about that. Tell me your name, dear girl."
For a moment Faith hesitated, her natural distrust kicking in but, c'mon, what harm could it do? "It's Faith."
The other woman gazed at her with amusement in her eyes. "So, Faith, where have you been all my life?"
"Boston, Sunnydale, jail," Faith replied bluntly.
Blondie had this curious expression on her face now and Faith mentally prepared herself for a horrified reaction about the whole jail and double homicide part. "Sunnydale?" Blondie asked, a tiny bit of steel to her voice. "I've been there."
Faith hoisted one eyebrow. "And you couldn't get away fast enough, right?" she asked wryly.
Blondie seemed to be in another place; her dull eyes fixed on something invisible beyond Faith's head. "I had a lover there once. Such a long time ago." The vitality soon returned to her eyes and she looked at Faith keenly. "So why did you leave?"
Despite herself, Faith snickered. "Same old story of a blonde, a brunette and a v... " She paused, for once not letting her words run ahead of her. "Let's just say it was wicked messy. And I ended up doing jail time."
"Really?" The other woman's lips curled into a knowing smile. "I'll bet they were fighting over you in prison." She slid closer to Faith on the couch, slipping her leg between the brunette's and pressing forward. A thumb brushed over Faith's lips, caressing the fullness. "Mm, I could just eat you up." One hand drifted down her stomach, settling between her thighs and cupping the heat emanating from her jeans.
Faith grinned a little. "Be my guest." She was aware of the huskiness of her own voice and maybe she wasn't as sober as she thought. She flexed her denim-clad hips against Blondie's hand and her smile broadened. And then the other woman was kissing her, lips and tongue warm and welcome, keeping her thoughts only in this moment. It seemed like she'd never been this turned on, this desperate for fucking, but she knew she had. It needed to be like this every time, she needed to lose control, to drown in the sensations.
They broke apart to dispense with the irritation of clothing, items quickly shed and tossed onto the floor. Faith wasn't disappointed to find Blondie had gone commando under that dress. She lay back on the couch, watching with a raised eyebrow as Blondie crawled up her body, focusing on those dark, almost predatory eyes. The blonde dipped her head and kissed her way up Faith's stomach, leaving tiny damp circles of saliva in her wake. Eventually she found her way to Faith's lips again, kissing her deeply, drawing the brunette's tongue into a leisurely entanglement.
Before long Blondie's lips left to travel over her collarbone, down to her breast to curl a silky tongue around her nipple. Faith groaned and shifted her thigh, wedging it between the other woman's and felt the answering wash of moisture on her skin. Shit, so ready... Her nipple was abandoned as Blondie continued mouthing kisses downwards until she was poised over Faith's moist entrance. And, fuck, she almost blacked out from the first touch 'cause being eaten out by another girl and slaying were easily the best two things in the world. This chick really knew what to do with that tongue of hers.
Soon, two fingers slipped inside her while Blondie worked Faith's clit with her tongue. She was so close; she could feel the fire building in her belly and she was a little ashamed of how quickly she was getting to the edge. Then she was there, like, bam!, and she lifted her hips high off the couch, as if she could prolong it. She tipped her head back, mouth hanging open, gasping in a silent scream, staring up at the white ceiling, at the chandelier directly above them and let her ass fall back onto the soft leather. Closing her eyes, she felt the spasms, the little after tremors, and Blondie's fingers withdrawing slowly.
She must've blacked out completely then, from a combination of alcohol and exhaustion, because when she woke up she knew it was morning. She was also lying in bed, the sheets twisted around her limbs. The drapes were closed but the warmth of the sun penetrated the heavy, dark fabric and heated her skin. The constant throb behind her eyes confirmed the extent of her hangover and she groaned in pain, gingerly bringing a hand to rub her temple. Man, she hadn't been this wrecked in a long time.
Well, this part was new anyway. With Faith, one night stands always followed the same script. She'd pick up someone who reminded her of B, they'd fuck, and she'd get gone. It never deviated from that theme. Except, she was still here. Alone, lying in soiled sheets... which meant all kinds of shit must've gone on during her mental meltdown... with the headache from hell. So she just lay there, waiting for the room to stop spinning. But she had to get up, the need to pee pressing down urgently on her bladder. Plus, she was in desperate need of some aspirin.
With a grunt, she pushed up onto her elbow and eased her legs over the side of the bed. That movement made her stomach lurch so she waited for the nausea to settle as she sat on the edge of the mattress. Just as she was working up the nerve to stand up, the bedroom door opened. Blondie was standing there in a long black silk dressing gown, just a peek of cleavage showing. Faith's dry mouth got even drier. She didn't know what to say, she wasn't used to morning after pleasantries. What can you say anyway? Thanks for the screw, have a nice life?
"Hey," she said with clear discomfort. "What time is it?"
"About noon," Blondie replied, draping herself against the doorframe and looking at Faith like she was lunch.
"No shit," Faith muttered and stood, trying not to throw up her guts all over the floor. Taking small steps she went over to window and opened the drapes a crack, squinting out across LA. There was a hiss behind her and she turned to see Blondie duck away from the shard of sunlight, smoke rising from the arm she was clutching. What the...? Faith covered her mouth, the acrid smell of burning flesh filling her with nausea and she just knew it was only the shadows that concealed Blondie's game face. Wasn't it just fucking perfect that her clothes and the stake hidden in her jacket were in the other room? Then again, all she had to do was throw open the drapes and Little Miss Vamp was going up in flames. So why was she holding back?
Maybe 'cause she believed in giving vamps a fighting chance, maybe 'cause it didn't seem right to kill the person who just gave you a great lay. Mostly, she was just kicking herself that she hadn't twigged sooner. Shards of the previous night cut through the blur of memory; the taste of Blondie's lips, the underlying sharpness of her sweet tongue, that guy lying unconscious in the booth... Shit. So how come this chick hadn't sucked her dry too... well... in the usual vamp way? As an afterthought, her fingers came to her throat, feeling around for the telltale puncture wounds. Nothing. Then she caught site of the two little bite marks grinning up at her from her breast. She looked up sharply at Blondie who remained unmoving in the corner, still cradling her arm.
"So if that guy was your starter, does that make me the main course?" Faith asked with a smirk.
Blondie didn't respond, just watched her with dim yellow eyes. "Actually, I'm more of a dessert. Slayer Surprise, you could call me," Faith continued.
"A Slayer?" There was amazement in the vamp's voice. "That cheerleader's dead?"
Faith had to grin at that, the mental image of Buffy with pom-poms. "Nope. You could say I'm the evil twin. There's two of us, girlfriend." She folded her arms. "And you are? 'Cause I don't think I ever caught your name."
"Close the drapes and I'll tell you," Blondie said with a tiny note of panic in her voice. Nodding, Faith did so but kept one hand clutching the material, just in case Blondie got any smart ideas. The vamp emerged from the shadows, back to her human face. Faith noticed that her arm had healed already which meant that this was one wicked powerful vamp. Suddenly, she didn't feel quite so confident. Blondie's eyes flicked appreciatively over Faith's butt nakedness. "I'm Darla."
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